JOHOR BARU - Having to curl to up under bridges, sleep on sidewalks or in the dark corners of the city is a sad fact of life for those who cannot afford a roof over their head,
However, a more comfortable refuge is now available for them. It's a "free hotel" known as Anjung Singgah in Jalan Segget here.
As long as you have a Malaysian identification card, a person can "check in" to the four-storey centre and stay for up to two weeks.
The centre, which provides temporary shelter to the homeless, was established by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry while the National Welfare Foundation Malaysia (NWF) manages it.
Since it opened its doors on June 9, an average of 10 to 40 people have been staying there.
Those staying here do not just get a roof over their heads but receive three free meals, basic toiletries including a towel, sarong, toothbrush with tooth paste and a bar of soap.
Most occupants are in their 40s and include the city's homeless and those who come to Johor Baru and Singapore in search of work.
NWF chief executive officer Datuk Sayed A. Rahman Sayed Mohd said the Johor Baru Anjung Singgah was the third such centre to be launched after Kuala Lumpur and Kuching.
"We started this project last year as we felt there was a need to provide shelter for the homeless in the city," he said in an interview.